Babies Checkups after Birth
Whether or not your baby is ill, you will have to visit the doctor from time to time. Even the healthy baby needs it for the first two years so the doctor can spy on his growth and development. Newborn pediatrician schedule varies upon the country to country, however, the outline remains the same all over the world. According to AAP i.e., the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that baby gets his first checkup at the time of birth and second within 3-5 days. After that, the newborn doctor visits should be performed on 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 18th, and 24th month respectively. Use our cheat sheet to get to know about the baby doctor appointments and what you should expect from each of this baby’s doctor visit.
The first checkup at the time of birth
The newborn pediatrician schedule starts right after the birth within 24 hours. In this checkup, the doctor will look for the normal body functions such as reflexes, hip stability, alertness, and skin tone to make sure that your baby is responding well and is healthy. In addition, the pediatrician is going to keep the track of your baby’s growth by measuring his weight, height, and head circumference and putting these measurements on the growth chart. The doctor will also do the hearing screening of your baby with two different tests, which are OAE (otoacoustic emission) and ABR (auditory brainstem response). Both tests help in the detection of hearing loss.
Your baby should receive a shot for hepatitis B at birth.
Second checkup within 3 to 5 days after birth
In your newborn’s second appointment with a pediatrician; he will get another physical examination to check whether everything is still going okay. The doctor will observe his behavior and development and is likely to ask you about his eating pattern. If your baby has not gone through the hemoglobin/metabolic screening right after his birth, he will get it at this appointment.
Baby doctor appointments schedule the third visit on his one-month birthday. The doctor will do the basics such as developmental surveillance, physical exam, and behavioral/psychosocial assessment. In addition to that, the doctor may test him for tuberculosis. In this test, an inactive TB strain will be injected into the baby’s arm. If swelling and redness appear at the injected site within 48-72 hrs., then the test is positive.
Another dose of hepatitis B vaccine is given.
The newborn checkup schedule includes another appointment on his two-month birthday. During this visit, the pediatrician is going to examine the basics. As you might expect, it includes usual measurements of weight and height. However, your little infant is going to get a lot of shots at this visit.
The vaccines may include RV (rotavirus vaccine), DTaP (Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine), Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b conjugate vaccine), PCV (Pneumococcal vaccine), and the IPV (Inactivated poliovirus vaccine). Fortunately, the doctor may combine some injections so there is hopefully less pricking and crying.
Skipping the third month, you are going to schedule the 4th-month appointment. In this visit, you should expect the routine standard procedures like baby’s behavioral and psychosocial observations, developmental, and physical exams. Also, expect your baby to get hemoglobin or hematocrit screening which helps point toward anemia.
Your baby will receive the second doses of all the 2nd month’s shots.
Your baby is now six months old. He requires a regular checkup with some shots. The doctor may check his oral health too.
He may get RV shot (may not need; ask your pediatrician) and the third doses of PCV, DTaP, and probably Hib. The third dose of IPV may be given any time between 6th and 18th months. In addition to that, he may be given his final dosage of hepatitis B vaccine anytime between 6th and 18th months. If this visit occurs in the flu season, get your baby the flu shot i.e., the influenza vaccine.
You should expect the same standard procedures in this visit too. In addition to that, the doctor will do the development screening. This time, the developmental screening involves some different procedures than the past tests. The pediatrician is going to ask you several questions about your baby’s behavior and development. He may also ask you to play with your baby during the assessment to observe his moves. Your baby is going to have this development screening, more often than not, if he has higher risks for developmental issues on account of low birth weight or preterm birth, or having a sibling with ASD i.e., autism spectrum disorder.
He may get the final doses of hepatitis B and IPV if he hasn’t got them at the last visit.
Your baby is going to celebrate his very first birthday. This is accompanied by another visit to the doctor. It is just like any other routine checkup with some slews of vaccines.
Your baby will receive the 4th dose of PCV (maybe now or anytime till 15th month), the 3rd or 4th dose of Hib (maybe now or anytime till 15th month). He will get the first dose of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine), the varicella vaccine and first dose of hepatitis A vaccine (maybe now or anytime till 23rd month).
Expect the routine procedures at this visit too.
Baby is going to get his 4th dose of DTaP and any other doses which have been left in the past visits.
Apart from regular tests, your baby is going to get autism screening. The autism disorder can affect the child’s behavior, communication, and social skills. If your baby shows the autism signs, then your pediatrician will recommend programs or services which can help with his development.
More doses of DTaP, IPV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis A if your baby has not received them yet.
The newborn pediatrician schedule should be strictly followed as it is very much essential for the health of your angel. Be regular and never miss the doctor’s appointments. If you take it for granted, then it may take a toll on your baby’s well-being and for which he is never going to forgive you all his life.